Guyana, the six-time North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens men’s champions may not have a chance to play a game, much more regain their crown at this year’s championships in November after the host Cayman Islands contends that the bookings were five hours late.
According to a source within the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), the participation of the national ruggers at this year’s championships is in a limbo because of the alleged late bookings but the union has appealed the decision to the International Rugby Board (iRB) in order for the ruggers to compete at the championships.
The source also told this publication that a decision on the participation of the locals will be made in the coming days by the iRB.
In the event of an unfavourable iRB decision, the source said that the GRFU will turn its attention to other prestigious championships, one of which will be staged in Trinidad and Tobago in December.
The GRFU had been pleading for monetary assistance to enable the team to compete at the championships many months ago but only recently saw sponsorship trickle in with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) coming to its assistance with a million dollars donation.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Sport on Monday presented the union with a $1M cheque to aid with the expenses of the team for the championships.
During a simple ceremony at the Main Street ministry office, Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony presented GRFU’s Secretary, Nicole Nero with the cheque to help with airfare and accommodation of the national team which will look to regain the NACRA Sevens crown from Mexico next month if they get the green light by the iRB.
This year’s NACRA Sevens will kick off on November 9. In a brief speech, Dr. Anthony stated that his ministry was pleased to assist the six-time NACRA champions in their quest to regain the title. He also wished them success and disclosed that he was confident of them returning with the hardware.
Dr. Anthony also urged other entities to support the union and its players.
On behalf of the union, Nero thanked the sports minister and mentioned that she too was confident of the team winning their seventh championship next month.